And the hosting gig goes to… Ellen DeGeneres!
The popular actress and daytime talk show host will take on hosting duties at the 86th Oscars, according to the telecast’s producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Zadan and Meron in a press release. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”
This is not the first time Ellen has graced the Dolby (formerly Kodak) stage. The comedienne also hosted the 79th installment of Hollywood’s Biggest Night, and earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for her effort.
“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm,” said DeGeneres.
DeGeneres is a strikingly safe choice for the Academy, which has made a recent habit of casting hosts with wide, family-friendly appeal the year after a controversial or highly criticized master of ceremonies. In 2011, the Oscars were skewered by critics and fans alike after Anne Hathaway and James Franco‘s awkward co-hosting performance. The following year, the Academy hired an Oscars institution, Billy Crystal, to lead the show. And last year’s host, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, incurred ire of his own for jokes critics considered to be tasteless, racist and sexist.
And while MacFarlane’s hosting buzz lead to a three-percent ratings increase for the Oscars telecast, Ellen just might prove that success doesn’t have to come at the expense of political correctness.
The 86th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Sunday, March 2, 2014.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.